Joshua Fischman

  • Professor of Law
  • Director, Center for Public Law and Political Economy

Josh Fischman rejoined the faculty as professor of law in 2016 after previously serving on the faculty from 2008 until 2012. His research interests include law and economics, empirical methods, judicial decision-making and criminal sentencing. He was previously a professor of law at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, an assistant professor of economics at Tufts University and a visiting professor at Duke Law School.

Fischman earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a J.D. from Yale and an A.B. in mathematics from Princeton. He has published articles in journals such as the Journal of Law and Economics; the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization; the American Law and Economics Review; the Journal of Legal Studies; the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.


  • Ph.D.
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • J.D.
    Yale Law School
  • A.B.
    Princeton University

Works in Progress

Decision-Making Under a Norm of Consensus: A Structural Analysis of Three-Judge Panels, 1st Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper (2009).

Articles & Reviews

How Many Cases Are Easy?, 13 Journal of Legal Analysis 595–656 (2021).
Politics and Authority in the U.S. Supreme Court, 104 Cornell Law Review 1513–1592 (2019).
The Circular Logic of Actavis, 66 American University Law Review 91–144 (2016).
Interpreting Circuit Court Voting Patterns: A Social Interactions Framework, 31 Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization 808–842 (2015).
Measuring Inconsistency, Indeterminacy, and Error in Adjudication, 16 American Law & Economics Review 40–85 (2014).
The Economic Perspective on Sentencing, 46 Loyola University Chicago Law Journal 345–368 (2014).
Reuniting "Is" and "Ought" in Empirical Legal Scholarship, 162 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 117–169 (2013).
Racial Disparities under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: The Role of Judicial Discretion and Mandatory Minimums (with Max Schanzenbach), 9 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 729–764 (2012).
Do Standards of Review Matter? The Case of Federal Criminal Sentencing (with Max M. Schanzenbach), 40 Journal of Legal Studies 405–437 (2011).
Estimating Preferences of Circuit Judges: A Model of Consensus Voting, 54 Journal of Law & Economics 781–809 (2011).
What Is Judicial Ideology, and How Should We Measure It? (with David S. Law), 29 Washington University Journal of Law and Policy 133–214 (2009).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

Rankings Shift Could Force Big Changes at U.S. Law Schools (with Michael A. Livermore), Bloomberg Law (August 19, 2021).
It’s Hard to Find a Federal Judge More Conservative than Brett Kavanaugh (with Kevin Cope), Washington Post (September 5, 2018).

Featured Scholarship